16.12.09 Prof. Matthias Ullmann

Lecture Prof. Matthias Ullman

When 16.12.2009
from 05:15 to 06:00
Where SR 1007, Albertstr. 21, 10th floor
Contact Name
Contact Phone 203 6090
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Life is about Potentials


Organism obtain energy to sustain their life from chemical potential gradients. According to one hypothesis of the origin of life, electro-chemical potential gradients are the energetic basis of the very first systems that can be considered alive. Nowadays, many biological functions are governed by the electrostatic potentials of interacting biomolecules. Thus, different kinds of potentials play an important role in biology.

Proteins that generate electrochemical potentials gradients in bioenergetic reaction chains can be very well-studied theoretically, since the structure of many of these proteins is known at great detail. Computational methods based on continuum electrostatics are widely used in theoretical biochemistry to analyze the function of proteins. After giving a short introduction into the basic concepts of the continuum electrostatic model based on the Poisson-Boltzmann equation, I will describe the application of this approach to analyze the thermodynamics and kinetics of electron transfer in proteins. Moreover, I will show how membrane proteins are affected by membrane potentials.


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